Bodies of 11 babies found in ceiling of funeral home

Saul Bowman
October 14, 2018

The Cantrell Funeral home was shuttered in April when inspectors found "deplorable, unsanitary conditions", which included decomposing bodies left in an unrefrigerated garage for months, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said.

"They received an anonymous letter describing exactly where the box was, where the remains were", Detroit police Lt. Brian Bowser told reporters Friday.

"You wouldn't just guess this", Detroit police lieutenant James Demps said. But he said he was upset "by the callousness" of whoever placed the remains of infants, some of them apparently stillborn, inside a cardboard box hidden in the drop-down ceiling of a stairwell.

"Obviously, it was either an employee or someone who had knowledge", Bowser said.

The property's current owner, Naveed Syed, says he called police after making the shocking discovery.

He said he was unable to say how long the remains had been stored there or how old they were.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner is now taking custody of the remains, according to FOX 2.


The Cantrell family operates a successor funeral home in the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe.

Naveed Syed, who now owns the property where the funeral home is located, told local news station, told WXYZ that he helped lead state inspectors to the bodies.

It happened at the former Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack Ave. "I really don't know how that could even have happened". Other embalmed bodies that were improperly stored for months were covered with mold.

"That suspension order remains in effect as does our investigation", LARA spokesman Jason Moon said in a statement Friday.

Some of the deceased have been identified, and an investigation is underway, the detective added.

Fox2 reported that Raymond Cantrell took over the half-a-century-old funeral home in 2017. 'So yes they are embalmed and serviced we put them in the garage'.

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